While process servers play an essential role in the American legal system, often, there are unique barriers to accomplishing the job. Gated neighborhoods, including secured facilities, are some of them. While many addresses are painless to access, those inside gated communities levy a physical barricade and perhaps a guard who probably doesn't comprehend your function in due process between you and the individual to be served. This post from our guard app experts examines how to best affect service when an address is located in a gated community.
Due to the difficulties gated communities cause process servers, several process server organizations have successfully pressed for laws that allow process servers to gain access – one of many motivations to join a state or regional association! For instance, Florida, California, and Illinois are some states that have passed laws with clear language regarding the service of process in gated neighborhoods.
Before trying to serve, investigate the address. You will become acquainted with gated communities and learn before you proceed if your service will involve passing through the gate. As you complete service in a neighborhood, note whether a gate is unmanned or staffed and your background with service at this site.
If you need more information about the neighborhood, consider contacting other process servers you know in the vicinity. They may have insight that will enable you to gain access. Always carry your Process Server ID if you are licensed by the state, county, or court. Whether negotiating with a security guard, a prying neighbor, or the individual you serve, you will profit by having your license as evidence of your motivation for being in the community or building.
When dealing with a staffed gate or facility security guard, your behavior and knowledge of your state's regulations are equally essential. When negotiating with a guard:
As a process server in a state with supporting laws concerning gated communities, recognize that the guard at the gate may not understand what you do or the regulations, so be prepared to respectfully outline the state law regarding your entry to the neighborhood. In addition, bring a copy of the ordinance for the security guard to examine.
If everything else fails, and state ordinances support it, you may call law enforcement – but be prepared to clarify the law, the circumstances, and why you are asking for help. In Florida, for instance, refusing entry into a gated neighborhood is deemed obstruction. Hopefully, by being courteous, pleasant, and calm, you won't have to resort to this.
If you call law enforcement to execute your right to enter, be courteous to the police and the security guard. You will probably be in this neighborhood again in the future. Being the bigger person will help make your next encounter smoother, whereas being ungracious will surely mean every future meeting with this guard will be a nuisance.
These are a few tips for serving process in a gated community. Contact us today to learn more about our guard app solution. We want to help keep your community safe.
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